We just had an incredible weekend workshop at The Homestead: Imagining Life Beyond Anxiety, Depression, and Dependence. Participants went through three sessions that dealt with finding your issues in your body, eating for mental health, techniques for clearing the body, and mindfulness.
Lynn Peterson, the counselor who led the weekend said, "If you take one thing out of this workshop I want you to hear this: You cannot think your way out of this. You have to feel it to heal it."
Feeling it is what we don't do as a culture. In fact, we do anything to avoid feeling it that we can think of - numbing, avoiding, scrolling, controlling are our preferences. One of the books we used this weekend was The Mindful Way Through Anxiety by Susan M. Orsillo and Lizabeth Roemer. In it there is a poem by Rumi that we closed with:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.